Contribution of Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Completions

Posted by National Student Clearinghouse on May 25, 2015

Nearly Half of BA Completions Had Previous Enrollment at Two-Year College

By Kim Cook, Executive Director

Post-traditional students continue to change perceptions of degree-completion patterns. In the 2013-14 academic year, 46 percent of students who completed a degree at a four-year institution were enrolled at a two-year institution at some point in the previous ten years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Snapshot Report “Contribution of Two-Year Institutions to Four-Year Completions.”

The report further found:

  • Over half of the students completed a four-year degree within three years of leaving a two-year institution. More than three-quarters of them did so within five years.
  • Over one-fifth of the students were enrolled in two-year institutions for a single term. Nearly half of them were enrolled for five or more terms.

Many of our students begin at community college, sometimes struggling to persist and ultimately transfer to complete a four-year degree at a four-year institution. These data help inform our thinking about how and when to best support that transfer towards four-year completion. Interested in more? Download data tables for this snapshot here.

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